Hello, friends and readers, and welcome to Dr. Manny Presents…
I was originally going to review Sonic Underground after Sonic X (and I really should have, seeing as it’s a flat-out insult to an amazing character), but I realized two facts: 1) it’d be kinda redundant to review three different Sonic media at once, so I’ve moved it down the review list, and 2) this show is so hellishly bad… Sonic Underground is Doug compared to this toxic waste of a show. It is Garfield Show-level bad. It is bad… The abysmal jar of ecstasy and nuclear bombs known as… Horrid Henry.
This show is one of sheer stupidity. This show thinks that being cruel and destructive can be considered funny. It’s not. It’s really not. Combine that with shoddy animation, piss-poor writing and voice acting, and total disrespect for humanity in general, and you have a worse show than Angela Anaconda (that’s next on the list).
This show is based on a series of books written by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross (as in, yes, the illustrator for the Amber Brown series, which happens to be one of my all-time favorites.), the first of which was published in 1994. The book series recently ended with Horrid Henry’s Cannibal Curse (fitting title), yet for some reason, the TV show is still going on. I actually got a hold of a Horrid Henry book a while ago, and tried reading it to my cousins – they couldn’t even make it past the first story in the book – yeah, I almost forgot, each book is actually a collection of four poorly-written “stories.” Fifty Shades of Grey had better writing. Bio-Dome had better writing.
And the setup? Dennis the Menace and Gnasher did this setup miles better. The main character of Horrid Henry is a kid who hates authority and loves causing trouble, just like Dennis the Menace (both versions, to be exact). Here’s the problem, though: Both of those characters are actually well-written. Also, the Wikipedia page for this series compares Henry to Bart Simpson. I actually had a conversation with someone on DeviantArt about differing standards, so I can definitely understand; that said, as I mentioned on that page, it’s my opinion that Henry and Bart Simpson cannot be compared to each other. This excuse for a human being is extremely unlikable… While it’s obvious that Bart is no saint, episodes such as “Marge Be Not Proud,” “Bart the General,” “Krusty Gets Busted,” and the debut episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” show that Bart has a sense of humanity and cares for those closest to him. Henry, on the other hand – oh god this is stupid – sells his brother to make quick money. I’m not joking. That happens. And he’s supposed to be the main character.
They put the entire first season of Horrid Henry on Netflix, and so I checked it out. I will admit, a few episodes weren’t too bad, but a lot of them… they were just horrible. This show is just one of several examples on how not to do an animated series. There are animation errors, like, all over the place. For example, characters eyes look frequently off; in one scene, Henry’s mother was wearing one outfit, and in literally the next scene, the clothes were different; lip-sync errors are quite common; and in one episode, Henry’s mouth disappears for a split second.
Geez… Henry’s family is not much better. His brother is named Perfect Peter, who is the literal exact opposite of Henry, and thus is well-behaved, tidy, and respectful to those around him – a prime target for Henry’s so-called “pranks.” Whenever Henry bullies Peter, we’re supposed to sympathize with the former; in this scenario, we usually end up siding with the victim of such torture, but it’s hard to sympathize with Peter. After all, he hangs out with boys with equal “personalities” him, and his teacher is named “Miss Lovely.” Ugh… Just what I need, throw “Tastes like Diabetes” into the mix.
Their as-of-yet unnamed parents (stupid trope), of course, have to put up with this, except I only end up hating them just as much, Henry’s mum especially. Most of the time, she ends up acting like a whiny hoe rather than a parent. In the aforementioned episode where Henry sells Peter, she demands he “buy him back.” OK, 1) she really took that seriously? And 2), she does so in the loudest scream imaginable. YouTube Poop scenes that turn the volume up to purposely shock are quieter than that. My ears almost bled hearing that. Henry’s dad is not much better; he usually does whatever Mum does and has a bad voice. Also, he works in a toothbrush factory. Ooh, so cool.
Henry’s classmates are not much better; oh yeah, I almost forgot – literally every single character on this show is a stereotype. I’m not joking – Rude Ralph is arguably just as bad as Henry and takes pride in burping; Beefy Bert is an idiot whose catchphrase is “I dunno;” Moody Margaret is simply bossy (and her voice is right up there with Peter and Henry’s mum’s); Sour Susan repeats everything Margaret says (lazy) – they’re those kinds of kids. The faculty at that school is not much better; Ms. Boudicca Battle-Axe *facedesks one too many times* is the typical curmudgeon who feels wronged by the rowdiest student in her class; I already mentioned Miss Lovely – do I really need to talk about her? – and there’s a dinner lady named Greasy Greta who flat-out eats the students’ desserts in front of them after she confiscates them.
Well, now that I’m done with the characters, let’s move on to the writing. Oh my goodness, is it bad. The scripts seriously look like a monkey was behind the desk, which, combined with the horrendous voice acting, is simply bad. Like I said, Bio-Dome was better written than this; at least whoever wrote that script knew how to write. Every episode contains the following setup: Henry whines about something, is then faced with a problem, screams, title card, episode goes as follows, genius scene, climax, end. There’s next to no variation; Henry is always wanting something he can’t have, so he goes to such lengths such as selling his brother; letting loose a Deus Ex kitten on unsuspecting guests; and copying and then butchering his brother’s book report, all while showing absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
And it has a habit on ending things in an extremely conflicted way – Henry either gets away with his misdeeds, or through some sort of contrivance, Henry ends up getting in trouble – and on a show like this, it usually the former. That is not – I repeat, not – a good way to end an episode, especially as Henry predictably never learns from his mistakes – just like these “writers.”
Whenever Henry does learn from his mistakes, it’s usually extremely heavy-handed, and he just goes back to making people’s lives a living hell. It’s… not good. Worst example of Status Quo Is God I’ve ever seen.
Sometimes, a few episodes focus on Peter… and they actually manage to be worse. Just because you try to make Peter an unlikable d-bag does NOT mean I’m excited to see what he does. In fact, Peter can’t do jack – the worst he does is eat chocolates out of a box and replace them with slugs… and Henry is blamed for it. Again, worst use of Status Quo Is God ever. Another one actually had Peter wising up and deciding to take revenge on Henry… by writing bogus love letters to Margaret and Susan and causing other girls to taunt Henry. Henry thinks some of his friends pulled that stunt, so he forges a fake love letter to Ms. Battle-Axe… it all becomes very confusing, and it ends with Peter taking the blame and getting a detention, when it was all because Henry was being a jerk to Peter once again. Geez, some people never seem to get the justice they deserve…
As I’ve already touched upon, a majority of the characters are horrible to each other. Henry’s family is the most glaring example – from what I see, the entire family is in a one-sided, four-way abusive relationship. The Bundys from Married… With Children are better than this. Henry’s a jerk to Peter, their parents are jerks to Henry, and Peter is just a wimpy milksop who doesn’t do anything other than whine, scream, and be “perfect…” Perfect, my eye. All of Henry’s classmates are horrible to each other. Henry’s teacher is horrible to Henry. It’s like these people know jack about how to write characters.
Also, there’s a cat that can somehow change the time of day using a remote control. I don’t know how that works.
…What else have I to say about this mess of a show? One word: Horrid. The characters are horrid. The animation is horrid. The writing is horrid. The music is horrid (oh yes I forgot, the music on this show is god-awful). Like I said, it’s a prime example on how not to an animated series… or any series, for that matter. Just about nothing on this show is the least bit creative. The entirety of it is a disgrace to humanity. When it’s not busy being an utter mess of a program that has next to nothing of value, it is busy being flat-out annoying and wasteful of programming space wherever it airs. And if that wasn’t bad enough… the idiotic “writers” try throwing jokes into the mix, such as that thing with the cat, “fancy” meals having horrid names translated to French, and Henry’s cousin (a rich and spoiled brat, might I add) getting pantsed while he’s wearing pajamas and no underwear. This sociopathy is not comedic. This show is not comedic, not entertaining, and offers little of value; it’s horrendous, infuriating, destructive, cruel, terrifying, and simply put, insulting!!! Oh, and there was also a movie.
The only character I don't want to strangle is Fluffy, the Deus ex kitten in question. ...That's something, right?
For some strange reason, Henry's great-aunt think's he's female. That... actually got a chuckle out of me.
Lazy animation that rivals Adult Party Cartoon and Paddy the Pelican.
Music that makes "Friday" sound like "In the Hall of the Mountain King."
The character voices... More ear rape. The voice actors all sound like they're either used to yelling through bullhorns or they were just pulled from a riot to do voice acting. Peter's voice alone will make your ears bleed.
Morality takes a back seat. Logic takes a back seat.
Character designs that crash headfirst into the Uncanny Valley.
Nightmarish imagine spots.
Phew… So, that was my review of Horrid Henry, or as I like to call it, How to Kill Your Sense of Innocence in 11 Minutes. Join me next time as I review something… slightly less bad.
This was Dr. Manny Presents. Stay happy, and have a wild day!
Garfield: The Movie
A Shin-chan movie
Sonic the Hedgehog (OVA)
Star vs. the Forces of Evil
If you’re interested in these reviews, leave a comment or send me a note with your suggestions! I’ll reply as fast as I can!